A Grief Observed, bear, embarrassment, Genesis 1, grief, Hammer Holds, Isaiah 43:18-19, John 12:25, Luke 9:24, new story, overcome, poem, Psalm 130, Psalm 27:13-14, redeem, Romans 8:28, shame, Sunday, worth it
“An odd byproduct of my loss is that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet.” ~ C.S. Lewis in “A Grief Observed”
Just this past week I started reading the book “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. It’s not a long book, but still I’ve owned it for a long time and have kept from diving into it. I’ve thought of reading it many times before, but I’ve also thought it might be too heavy for me to bear. Right now, however, in the current circumstances I am in, it seems about time that I open it up and begin. While I have the space and time I do it right now I want to dig in to the grief I feel, and shame. I need guiders in that process, because I am not going to go there on my own too easily. As I read, reflect, and pray, I imagine I’ll share certain things in this blog space with you.
One such thing is the quote above that I came across earlier this week. This quote is actually amazing because it speaks to something I was feeling just days before I read it, and have felt at different times in the last month and a half. On Sunday evening this past weekend I was struggling. I was basically overcome by grief and shame due to my/our present circumstances. Sundays have been filled with that for me for the last two months, and it wasn’t until I read the above quote that I had words for what I have been feeling.
Embarrassment… That single word about sums it up, and sometimes it’s extremely overwhelming! It seems to be the most overwhelming when I am around other people, especially those that are aware of our circumstances or might ask me questions about them. I tend to obsess over words and I am a very sincere person, so I want to articulate well what I am feeling, however I often need time to process those things too that conversations don’t always allow for. Also, it doesn’t help that I am not too fond of certain specific aspects of my story right now, so I can end up an anxious mess after too much people interaction. Sundays have been just prime times for such interaction and emotional build up for me as of late, and it may not end too soon either, even though we have now officially moved as of yesterday. As we get into our new environment I know there will be plenty of others I/we will come into contact with that will be curious to hear some of our story as well.
This past Sunday (April 6th), I was so overcome by all of this that I just felt I needed to write. I finally sat down after our kids were in bed and started typing the poem below. It actually took the next couple of days to fully complete, but I wrote most of it that night. I think it really got to the heart of certain things I feel right now, and I also like how it all came together in end. I hope you enjoy it! Right now, certain aspects of my story can overwhelm me with embarrassment. I am looking forward to the day when it can seem more like a blessing to others then just a burden on me. God, redeem my story for your glory!
April 6-8th, 2014
I want a new story,
I am sick of this one…
Too much heartache; too much shame.
My heart is undone.
My God, my God, I am embarrassed by the twists and turns;
Who can make sense and order this chaos? (Genesis 1)
Definitely not me.
Your Word says you are righteous in all your ways
and faithful in all you do. (Psalm 145:17)
It also calls us to die
to have life in you. (Luke 9:24, John 12:24)
The man who hates his life in this world,
will have life eternally. (John 12:25)
Currently there is much I hate,
but life still is my fate. (Luke 9:24)
Is my story unredeemable?
O’ Lord, I think not. (Psalm 130:7)
Newness, newness lies just ahead;
Do I perceive it not? (Isaiah 43:18-19)
You are able, and do bring good from what seems bad. (Romans 8:28, Psalm 27:13-14)
My heart is troubled, so anguished, and sad.
I cry out for salvation from this here desperate hour.
“It is for this hour I have saved you!” replies your Spirit in power. (John 12:25)
Lord, my story is one today that I don’t want to bear.
Today it seems convoluted; a dire mess, and unfair.
It seems best if you would just start over.
Wipe the page, clean the canvas, send a bulldozer.
WAIT!… I am now prompted to remember…
my family, the people I’ve gotten to love and serve, and my precious Savior.
It was worth it; you’re all worth it, Lord!
I’ll do it all again.
A song that gets at the heart of this for me too is “The Hammer Holds” by Bebo Norman. Follow the link to view a youtube video for it (the song’s not as long as the video says it is).